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Is it luck or player smart/bad

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Is it luck or player smart/bad - Wed Nov 09, 2011, 10:10 PM
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C-mac687's Avatar
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Lately I've noticed that I'm extremely streaky when it comes to poker. I finish in the money like 4 times in a row. Sometimes the ratio is like 7 or 8 out of 10 Tournaments.

Then I won't finish in the money for about the same amount of Tournaments.

Do you guys think it luck on just being on your game and playing smart?

Thoughts...opinions?
 
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Wed Nov 09, 2011, 10:26 PM
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TrumpinJoe's Avatar
Since: Jun 2010
Posts: 4,557
Normal. Randomness (aka variance) can be ugly.
 
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Wed Nov 09, 2011, 10:27 PM
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JWK24's Avatar
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it totally depends. You can end up with a good run of cards.... or you could end up on a variance run. You may make some good plays, you may make some bad ones.

What you want to look at is a large number fo games over a long period of time. Then when you see patterns, especially with your plays (not results, as you do not want to be results oriented)... then you can make a solid determination.

What you want to do is to make the best possible play every time... that's what you want to be concerned with.
 
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Thu Nov 10, 2011, 07:47 PM
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ultramanAK's Avatar
Since: Jul 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrumpinJoe View Post
Normal. Randomness (aka variance) can be ugly.

+1
 
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Fri Nov 11, 2011, 09:33 PM
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Since: Jun 2010
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it is hard not to be results oriented when you constantly get it in as a 3/1 or better fav. and continually lose .
 
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Fri Nov 11, 2011, 11:18 PM
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Posts: 4,557
Point 1 -- "continually lose" is either a poor perception (selective memory) or an overstatement. You will frequently lose at times but not "continually lose."

Point 2 -- When you focus on your decisions it is much easier to not be results oriented. Poker is a game of decisions and we must strive to make each one properly. Sometimes we make the right decision and lose and sometimes we make the wrong decision and win. Human nature being what it is we tend to remember the former more than the latter. If you are an above average player you will experience the former more than the latter.

Point 3 -- In a somewhat twisted way, bad beats means you are making good decisions (a positive) and you are encouraging your opponents to make bad decisions (also a positive). Unfortunately poker is neither physics or mathematics, it is a large part osychoilogy, and two positives sometimes make a negative.
 
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Sat Nov 12, 2011, 04:36 AM
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JDean's Avatar
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MTT play is, in essence,streaky; it is the nature of the beast.

If you are playing large field events, you can expect to make it ITM at a rate approximately the same as the number of players who get paid. On Poker Stars, most MTTs pay somewhere between 10% and 15% of the field. As long as you are near that percentage of ITM finishes, you are probably at least equal in relative skill level to the opponents you are facing at your chosen buy in level.

If you are BELOW the pay out percentage in your ITM finishes, that does not mean you are necessarily worse than your opponents. Playing a less risk averse style may well see you only making it ITM on the order of 5% or 10%. As long as this style is resulting in you running DEEP when you do cash, you can still show profitability.

If you are well ABOVE the pay out percentages in your ITM finish rate, that does not necessarily mean you are better than your opponents either. If you are playing a severe ladder climbing strategy, one which places too high a value on survival and not enough value on chip accumulation, you can show a 25% or 30% ITM rate and still lose money.

So worrying about what percent of the time you make it ITM is certainly less important than worrying about what your ITM finishes are showing you in your bottom line. If that bottom line keeps growing larger, then does it really matter if you have gone 5 or 10, or 30 MTTs without a cash?
 
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Mon Nov 14, 2011, 01:39 AM
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TrustySam's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C-mac687 View Post
Lately I've noticed that I'm extremely streaky when it comes to poker. I finish in the money like 4 times in a row. Sometimes the ratio is like 7 or 8 out of 10 Tournaments.

Then I won't finish in the money for about the same amount of Tournaments.

Do you guys think it luck on just being on your game and playing smart?

Thoughts...opinions?

me too

I started documenting all the forms of good/bad luck and variance in my Cowboy's Challenge thread to try and see if I could better tell. Because it all gets so very confusing - how often and how much *should* any one person be able to expect to be able to win? And if I've won 4 in a row, does that mean statistically speaking the shoe is about to drop ... like are some games just completely unwinnable, and so for the next batch I'm destined to be doomed? And on the other hand, if I've lost 4 in a row, and then I lose again ...

From a learning perspective, I've been trying to just assume that when I win it's luck, and when I lose it's bad play - because then I'm motivated to go back and look for leaks and things I could have done better. Also, it makes me feel like I'm doing something to improve so maybe next time I'll have a better chance. I'll review my hand histories, even if there's only one hand to review because somebody put me all-in when I was ahead, and then they hit their two-outer or whatever.

But there is that element of luck too - that can't be ignored. Sometimes you can just feel when the EV is not on your side, eh? Somebody's at the table is playing every hand because they're running so +EV with their 25o, and you're so -EV you can't even count on KK to beat A2o or whatever. I've been trying to play small-ball as much as possible (unless I feel pretty sure I'm ahead by the river), so the swings arent' so wide either way. Sometimes that seems to help sometimes I guess

I've only played 88 Sit N Go's so far - I guess that's kind of a small sample
 
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Mon Nov 14, 2011, 09:49 AM
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mtnestegg's Avatar
Since: Feb 2011
Posts: 1,336
yeah poker does tend to be very streaky,BUT, even if something happens several times in a row, the odds on the next hand are the same exact odds you had on the first hand, and over only extremely large samples, ( from my perspective anyway being a single table player) will they find the mean. and you simply can't be waiting 4 "the hammer to fall" after having a good streak.

and I would suggest not just looking at losing hands to find leaks. there's lots to learn from winning hands as well. good and bad decisions happen on both for anyone who plays this wacky game.
 
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Mon Nov 14, 2011, 01:09 PM
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TrustySam's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtnestegg View Post
yeah poker does tend to be very streaky,BUT, even if something happens several times in a row, the odds on the next hand are the same exact odds you had on the first hand, and over only extremely large samples, ( from my perspective anyway being a single table player) will they find the mean. and you simply can't be waiting 4 "the hammer to fall" after having a good streak.
Oh, I used that "statistically" ... because I was thinking of a particular thing.

The 'thing' kind of reminds me of those photos that can be two things at once, like this one:



Is it an old woman or a young one? And I guess it's both depending on the perspective you take sort of a deal?

Like, yeah, what you pointed out about the probability of an event is independent of the probability of the next event - the probabilities of each independent event are identical. Like for example, the probability of AA beating say like KK is around 80%. So every time AA is against KK, the probability of AA winning is around 80%.

But there's also that probability calculation they do to find the probability that multiple independent events in succession will happen a certain way, eh? It reminds me of that optical illusion thing in that these events are independent, but the statisticians still lump them together sometimes - and then if AA against KK is viewed in that way, the probability that AA will beat KK 5 times in a row if it's viewed as a string of events (even though they're independent) would be:

80% x 80% x 80% x 80% x 80% = 32% (32% is the probability of AA beating KK 5 times in a row, it's not the probability of AA beating KK on the 5th time AA is up against KK if you've already won 4 times in a row)

It kind of reminds me of that independent chip model that has all those complicated calculations, but basically just boils down to the concept that your calling range should be tighter than your shoving range. I guess this statistic, if you take the perspective (that the statisticians do of treating independent events as a block) perhaps stands for the concept that variance (either good or bad) will tend to come to an end the more you play? That's all - it's not meant to be used to think that if AA has won 4 times in a row, that then it should be played differently the 5th time because the odds of winning are then 32% not 80% ... like the statistic isn't meant to be used that way since the events are independent of one another like you point out mtnstegg

The thing that makes it tricky I guess is trying to figure out when your wins are due to good luck/skill and when your losses are due to bad luck/skill. I guess that's all I was trying to say with the reference to sometimes feeling like the hammer's about to drop ... that I feel like there's variance at play

Last edited by TrustySam; Tue Nov 15, 2011 at 05:32 PM.. Reason: typos :))
 
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Mon Nov 14, 2011, 02:56 PM
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mtnestegg's Avatar
Since: Feb 2011
Posts: 1,336
I'll reply in just 1 word ( not really because I just typed that..lol) EEEYUP!
 
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Mon Nov 14, 2011, 05:08 PM
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TrustySam's Avatar
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Posts: 8,291
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I've lost the last 3 Sit n Go's I've played, all three of which I've lost after getting the money into the middle as the +75% favorite on flop, so I just wanted to feel sad for a minute

Now I feel better, so I can appreciate the larger point of what you were saying - about how it's important to stay positive and optimistic and stuff


That whole thing with looking at the statistics by hand versus as a set has some other interesting applications too - like with the AA being 80% favored to win against KK ... sometimes I think it's easy to forget that over 5 hands on average, it's expected that AA ought to lose at least once? I know I've fallen into that trap of feeling like this when AA happens:

1. AA vs KK ... AA wins (of course)
2. AA vs KK ... AA wins (of course)
3. AA vs KK ... AA wins (of course)
4. AA vs KK ... AA wins (of course)
5. AA vs KK ... KK wins (robbed! )

Like sometimes I think I have the expectation that AA *should* win 100% of the time, and then I feel so sad when they get cracked - which is kind of not the way it's supposed to go, eh? I know I'm not the only one who thinks this way though

I'd like to get to a place where when my AA's get cracked every 8 to 9 hands (as they should be, statistically-speaking), I can remember to appreciate what good value they are over the long-term, even though they will lose 12% of the the time or whatever (AA against KK should be losing about once every 5 times on average)

Maybe that's the case with winning/losing/cashing in tournaments too? Like maybe it helps to just focus on the net?

Just some random thoughts ... still trying to sort it all out, seeing as I've only played 88 games

Last edited by TrustySam; Wed Nov 16, 2011 at 02:34 PM.. Reason: more typos :))
 
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Mon Nov 14, 2011, 06:32 PM
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TrustySam's Avatar
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Posts: 8,291
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Oh, and another reason maybe it's not all doom and gloom ... there's been a couple of times where the person in the blinds with me is winning 3 hands for every 1 that I'm winning. But then if they're just playing their cards such that (1) they don't seem to be thinking about what hands everybody else might have, and on the other hand (2) they're easy to read ... like when they win those 3 times, they might wind up losing more in the net than the rest of us are winning with just 1 hand sort of a deal. Like being up against somebody who's got luck on their side isn't necessarily everything all the time I guess? I've seen that happen.

So I guess sometimes it isn't just all about the variance, eh? Like at the entry level tables, some people are more entry level than others I guess? Stuff like that ...

Probably that's true at every level too, eh? There must always be people who are new to a level, or playing outside their skill level, etc?
 
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Sat Nov 19, 2011, 07:07 AM
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C-mac687's Avatar
Since: Oct 2011
Posts: 70
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Well lately I'm actually starting to see more consistancy. One of the problems I was having is that while most times I wouild make it to the bubble, I was low stacked most of those times so I was at a complete disadvantage. I leanred to loosen up a tad in the middle phase of the tourney which has resulted in winning a few bigger hands in the middle phase. I guess I learned to run better. My bottom line continues to grow
 
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Sat Nov 19, 2011, 08:54 AM
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Grade b's Avatar
Since: Jun 2010
Posts: 3,604
Quote:
Originally Posted by C-mac687 View Post
Lately I've noticed that I'm extremely streaky when it comes to poker. I finish in the money like 4 times in a row. Sometimes the ratio is like 7 or 8 out of 10 Tournaments.

Then I won't finish in the money for about the same amount of Tournaments.

Do you guys think it luck on just being on your game and playing smart?

Thoughts...opinions?
Are these MTT's or STT's?

I find that when i actually focas and really apply what i have learnt i can have a good run.

but on thursday night i brought too much baggage with me from work and some rather nice white wine and did not do as well.

to see some streaks look in the blog forum.

http://www.pokerschoolonline.com/for...-challange-STT

and

http://www.pokerschoolonline.com/for...mber-Challange

Grade b
 
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Sat Nov 19, 2011, 09:14 AM
(#16)
r0ck.carver's Avatar
Since: Apr 2011
Posts: 201
It seems that way at times m8 but mtt play is fraught with peril... even entering a pot at 80%+ its easy to get sucked out. suddenly there is 5 callers all in and ur AA is weak.....nature of the beast.
Tighten up ur play and don't be afraid to throw a winner especially if its for end of tourney!!.... use the BB measure taught here to gauge your position as far as risk goes less than 20 bb and look at chipping up...otherwise position and survival are everything!!!!!!!.... Get a read on the weak link and work him/her/them for value to recoup blinds and always remember agg fish are ur friends even though they draw u out 30% of the time ,,,,, gl on the felt and may ur pocket Aces never get on Royal raises board lol i mean always stand up lol cheers r0ck
 
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Sun Nov 20, 2011, 10:30 PM
(#17)
C-mac687's Avatar
Since: Oct 2011
Posts: 70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grade b View Post
Are these MTT's or STT's?

I find that when i actually focas and really apply what i have learnt i can have a good run.

but on thursday night i brought too much baggage with me from work and some rather nice white wine and did not do as well.

to see some streaks look in the blog forum.

http://www.pokerschoolonline.com/for...-challange-STT

and

http://www.pokerschoolonline.com/for...mber-Challange

Grade b

I always play 2 table 6 max
 

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